The days following Ironjaw’s defeat were filled with much joy and celebration. The ants felt a great sadness at the loss of their best soldiers and finest worker, but when news of the incoming unionization arrived, they cherished it more than any craftsman guild ever would have.
Bubba had also constructed the finest of shrines within their great hall using the very hammer they gave him. Each warrior had a statue chiseled from solid stone, each holding a sword into the air victoriously, and each embedded with its name on a plaque hung onto the base. However, at the center of the room was the most magnificent and detailed figure, that of Three. He wasn’t the biggest or fiercest looking, but his segmented eyes held a fierce determination and dream. His arms held a sword, a hammer, a tool belt (the very one that was given to Bubba), and a key. They represented his willingness to fight, his unwavering work ethic, his extension of friendship, and his sacrifice to give them freedom from what was basically, slavery.
Three days past the confrontation, the docks are once again full of life and construction as the resurrection of the Steel Lion reaches its halfway point. KG works tirelessly on the ocean floor, helping to pull salvage from the depths. Bubba is doing what he does best, repairing everything and making sure the toilets and piping were perfect. Magnus oversees the redesign and inspection of the steam engines. Kydd happily provides lunches and refreshments for the entire operation, as well as Fluffybeard’s endless appetite. While Davy prepares a course and navigational charts needed to reach their next island.
As the sun begins to settle, everyone gathers inside the Furry Lobster to enjoy drinks and relax. After a few rounds of toasting, a worker ant hastily bursts into the restaurant. “Big news! You guys are famous!” It shouts, a small stack of papers in his insect arms.
Bubba says, “Cool. Now I’ll be able to pick up chicks!”
KG asks a robot question, “Chickens? Why are you incapable of lifting them?”
The dirty handyman replies, “Aahahaha! Well, no animal is safe. I’ll say that much. You should see my squirrel underwear.” As a furry tail pops from his unfastened and lowering pants, the first poster is revealed, much to the appreciation of everyone in the room.
“WANTED: Bubba “Duece Machina”, Dead or Alive. 30,000,000 for the crimes of piracy, conspiring against the government, and trespassing on food/drink serving premises. (The poster shows two images: one of Bubba’s dirty and normal face, the other of a fancy dressed Cockroach)
“I might just turn myself in for that kind of cash!” The plumber considers, hand on his chin.
“Thirty million? Someone get me a Den Den Mushi!” KG announces, arms outspread and ready to bear hug. However, as the smell of rotting sewage and sweat keeps everyone else away, he reconsiders the solo venture. There’s a reason for the trespassing charge it seems.
“Well, how much are the rest of you worth?” Bubba asks.
WANTED: Fluffybeard, “Scourge of the Four Blues”, Fish Loving Pet and his Mechanized Armor Suit 5,000,000 Beli for the Armor, 40 for the Cat. (The poster shows an image of KG being piloted by a super-imposed picture of Fluffy)
The cat beams happily, since he was the one who submitted the picture and title for approval. KG shows the poster proudly to the cat, “Look Fluffy! You’re famous too! But… what is that you’re driving?”
“A ghost armor?” Bubba and Magnus respond in unison.
“GHOST!?” KG panics, going into high alert, “Where!? Did it follow us all the way here!? Run Fluffy!” He dives behind the bar as the next wanted poster is revealed.
WANTED: Edward Kydd, Dead or Alive. 15,000,000 Beli for the crimes of attempted murder by poisoning, using FDA disapproved ingredients, and an attempted assassination of a Marine Captain. (The poster is an image of him captured and chewing on the chains)_
Bubba comments first, “So that’s how he keeps his iron problem in check.”
Magnus is next, “Luckily, I’m a doctor and not a dentist.”
Kydd, however, yells at the poster, “That wasn’t poison! It was a spicy meatball you son of a bitch!”
Davy interjects, “I believe it was referring to the mushroom plague you unleashed on Ironjaw’s crew… not last night’s dinner.” He places a fist to his mouth and tries to cover a burp that erupts into flames.
“Oh, I guess that makes more sense.” the Iron Chef agrees as the final wanted poster is laid down on the table.
WANTED: “Davy Jones”, FINE of 1,000,000 for anyone attempting to capture. Wanted for the crime of Government Insurgency, Murder, Theft, and Arson. (Picture of the silhouette resembling a Jellyfish)
The worker ant seems puzzled though, “Why would they fine someone for completing completing a bounty on a wanted poster?”
Davy shrugs, “Perhaps there would be too many people calling in false reports over a myth?” However, he knew the actual reason: they didn’t want anyone within the Marines or powerful bounty hunters associating with him. He did have a way with words and only those obstinate fools who believed in Absolute Justice full-heartedly would undertake the task.
Magnus looks at the poster and asks the question, “And mine?”
The ant explains that he didn’t have a wanted poster for the eccentric doctor, but had found something else. He shows everyone a carton of milk.
“HAVE YOU SEEN ME?" Doctor, Magnus Picard. 1,000,000 Beli Reward for his safe return. (The picture bears a striking similarity to Jean Luc Picard of Star Trek fame)_
Every crew member except Magnus bursts out into laughter. The lanky and impossibly tall scientist takes a closer look, while placing a hand up to his chin, “Hmm, not even a close resemblance. I’m much more attractive.”
Bubba exclaims, “So that’s what you look like under that paper bag!”
KG quickly follows up, “Fluffy can ride on your head if you want some hair.”
Kydd offers help as well, “I know some recipes that might help you grow some hair.”
Davy just quietly chuckles to himself behind a mug of beer.
“I shave my head regularly thank you very much! Don’t make me shave you with my scalpel!” Magnus threatens.
Robot inquiry, “But why bother if you are just going to wear a paper bag all the time?”
Kydd jumps to the conclusion, “The skin to bag contact must provide better grip.”
“Might also cause static electricity build up.” Bubba interjects.
“Nooo,” Magnus explains, “do you know how much sweaty hair and paper bags itch?”
Just then, the Buggy Pirate Brothers enter the room, lead by a third, much taller, meaner looking fellow. He’s clad in a frayed, gray coat and wears a leather tricorn on his long face. Certainly not pretty by any stretch of the word, but he carries a stern air of leadership about himself.
“I’m lookin’ for da guy dat sprung me out of da brig of dat Marine ship.” He bellows over the crowd. His tone and accent is uncouth, but confident.
Bubba playfully shoves Fluffybeard forward. “Meow!” the small cat boasts, proclaiming that HE was the genius behind everything. That is, if anyone could actually understand him.
“My crew informs me, you were da one dat kicked Ironjaw’s ass. I remember ya bein’… taller though.” He scratches his head, trying to figure out the situation.
“Mew!” (I puff myself up in times of danger to look big.) Fluffy explains, but his information falls upon deaf ears.
“I, ugh, also remember ya speakin’ human.”
Red interrupts the conversation to make clear the muddy waters, “He’s a shape shifter Boss! He’s got many forms!”
Kydd desperately wants to correct them, but decides to hold his tongue. When the trio’s leader recognizes the fellow ex-prisoner, Davy finally stands up to speak. The mythical captain lurches forward, the alcohol and dry land causing him to wobble a little bit, “I’ll stand in for the captain, but he kicked Ironjaw’s ass with his crew’s help. Not alone.”
Although the form was different, the shadow was eerily familiar: a Jellyfish silhouette. He smiles, “Hehe, suppose you’ll do. Just wantin’ ta thank ya for da rescue. Heavens know these two couldn’t have pulled it off.”
Red objects, “We totally had everything under control Boss!”
“It was a group effort.” Davy adds, “They got the key. We handled the rest.”
“Well, just to be showin’ my thanks, I wanted ta give ya a gift.” He extends his hand and a rather tiny mosquito-bat perches on top of it, “His name’s Red. Can’t really do much in da way o’ fightin’, but he’s an excellent messenger Batskeeto.”
It inflates its chest with pride. “Or, you can cook em’ if ya like.” Red’s eyes grow big with terror. Kydd further adds to the fire, “I could probably whip up a Batskeeto Bar-be-que.”
Davy graciously accepts the small pet, propping it onto his shoulder before tipping his hat, “I’ll call you Red Zippo, little bat.”
The man wearing a tricorn also introduces himself, “My name’s Probby. Captain o’ da Buggy Pirates. Soon as we find a ship, we’ll be hittin’ da waters for da’ Grand Line.”
Kydd comments, “There’s already a famous Pirate by the name of Buggy. Sure you don’t want to take a name change to Swarm Pirates?”
Probby looks pissed and smacks the two cohorts beside him simultaneously, “Told ya all da good Pirate names are taken. Anyways… What’s yer name?”
“Davy Jones.” Not a drip of sarcasm or humor fell from his voice.
“Brahahaha!!!” The fellow captain erupts into laughter, before falling silent at the possibility, “Yer… jokin’ right?”
“No.” Davy says, holding up his wanted poster. His shadow was a dead match for the inspired drawing. “However, I’ve an old ship that I don’t plan on using anymore. Perhaps you’d be interested in sailing it? Under your own flag of course, but also under my very name.”
“That’s quite generous o’ ya! Any other terms o’ dis transaction?”
“Just one. Never bring dishonor to my name. Show mercy to civilians who ask for it. I don’t mind if you steal from them, especially if they’re nobles. People are too attached to their wealth anyways. Life is the one treasure you should respect.”
“Sounds like a rule I can live with. You can count me as an ally. You can use Red to contact us anytime you need us.”
“Then be safe and one day, when the seas are calm and the time is right, lets share a drink. Allies and friends are a good idea to keep in this day and age.”
Kydd comments, “Friends are the greatest treasure in all the seas.”
Bubba, also feeling emotional, says, “Aww, I think I’m going to cry! Nothing beats friends for fishing bai-”
A squeeking noise catches the plumbers ear. However, his mind heard it as, “You probably cry tears of urine.” He looks around, then fixes his stare on Red Zippo, “Wait. I can understand you?”
“I can also…” Red flies over to the bar, dips his proboscis into some ketchup, and begins writing on the wall for everyone to read, “I’ll try my hardest to not be eaten.”
Probby bellows out a laugh, “Brahahaha! Yep! Red dere’s a pretty smart little guy. We even sent him off ta college! Wanted a ship dentist, but little bastard changed majors ta become a lawyer! Bloodsuckers will be bloodsuckers I guess.”
Kydd raises a eyebrow in amazement, “A robot that talks to a cat. A roach that talks to a batskeeto. Am I going to start talking to trees next?” Magnus reminds him that he already does. “Hey!” Kydd objects, “One day it’ll turn out to be a wood nymph!”
A smile on their faces and eyes full of gratitude, Probby, Azure, and Crimson bid goodbye, “Farewell. And may da seas bring ya good fortune… Davy Jones.”
The Jellyfish captain tips his hat, “And the same to you Probby.” The rest of the crew raise their glasses and Kydd shouts a final farewell, “So long Swarm Pirates!”
After they leave, everyone can hear two loud thumps, “Before we set sail, we’re having a name change session! Why did all da good names have ta be taken?”
The party eventually dies out and the Jellyfish Pirates leave shortly after the last call for alcohol is made. Davy stumbles out the door last, nearly bumping into the others, “Huh? What’s happening?”
Apparently several large fearsome insects burst from the ground and surrounded them. Then a large chest bounces forward, (no, not a woman’s chest, a wooden treasure chest) “Mrphmrfm!" It mutters incomprehensibly, while a large and round female, with arms like a gorilla, walks out of the shadows to interpret, “My brother demands the key to this “Infernal Box”.”